After finding success by reviving their Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom series, Capcom had sought to branch out and bring a new challenger to the crossover ring. Street Fighter X Tekken mixes up two different game play styles into one hyper active and flashy fighter.
How does the Tekken cast perform with the subtraction of a dimension and the addition of two extra buttons? Find out after the jump.
Street Fighter X Tekken
Systems: Playstation 3, PC, XBox360 [Reviewed]
Released: March 6, 2012
At first, Street Fighter X Tekken will feel very familiar if you played Street Fighter 4 for any amount of time. Graphically it looks similar to Street Fighter 4 but with new camera angles added to grabs and super attacks. You get a lot of the same characters that were in Street Fighter 4 along with the voices, animations, and moves. A few characters are given new moves or the inputs are altered, like Ryu gaining a donkey kick or Chun-li’s lightning legs input being changed, but for the most part the Street Fighter cast feels the same. Switch over to the Tekken side and things begin to become more interesting.
The average Tekken character has about 2 to 3 times more moves in the command list than their Street Fighter counterpart. These moves range from attack strings which can lead into special moves, special moves with branching follow up attacks, stance changes which also lead to branching attacks, and moves which assist in getting around projectiles since very few Tekken characters are given projectiles of their own. Although the Tekken cast mimics the moves they would normally perform in the Tekken games, the application is radically different once stuck in a 2D environment and gives them a very unique feel and play style from the Street Fighter cast. This leaves the Tekken cast feeling more like new Street Fighter characters instead of a faithful transition to a 2D game and will leave Tekken regulars with some re-adjusting on how they play their favorite characters. But this is a tag game and both Tekken and Street Fighter characters blend well with the overall system mechanics.
Naturally, Street Fighter X Tekken grabs rules and mechanics from both games. Wining a round requires you to K.O. only one fighter on your opponent’s team, which is similar to Tekken Tag. Also coming from Tekken Tag is the ability to switch to your teammate while in a combo or move. Controls and performing moves stay close to Street Fighter with Normal, Special, EX, and Super moves but with more wall bounces and juggles like Tekken. Capcom has also added some extra mechanics to the game, like universal combos which are done by moving from light to heavy normal attacks, auto combos, alpha counters, chargeable supers, pandora mode, and gems.
Going into this game and playing it like Street Fighter 4 or Tekken won’t help you much. Sure strong fundamentals are needed in any fighting game, but Street Fighter X Tekken has its own rhythm and feel despite looking similar. Getting the most out of the game requires team synergy and meter management. Meter management especially, since there are so many things to spend or squander your meter on. Sure, spending three bars to do a tag super looks cool, but is it worth it after a long combo and a huge damage scale? Switching while in a combo costs a bar of meter, but have I picked characters that complement each other and can keep the combo going after the switch? Do I use an EX move to get the positional advantage or save it to get raw damage on a Super? Do I have enough time to charge this EX move and get a Super for the price of one bar instead of two? You’ll ask these questions while playing and it’s great when a game can keep pushing you to find the best tactics and combinations that fit your play style.
As well as solid rules and mechanics, Capcom has implemented various systems that seem to be geared to help newcomers. As you start the game, you’ll get a tutorial by Dan himself that goes through the basics of the game and its mechanics, but not fighting game fundamentals, in depth tactics, or pointers on how you use your character. It’s nowhere near as helpful as the BlazBlue tutorial. The universal combo system may seem like just a way to get easy combos but it actually has practical applications. The auto combo is somewhat useless at the moment since they are relatively easy combs and cost your meter when used, though Capcom has more combos planned for upcoming DLC. Pandora mode may seem like an X-factor comeback mechanic, but it’s really an all or nothing desperation move that isn’t used that much outside of specific situations and gem setups. Which brings me to the gems that are mostly unremarkable.
Gems are Capcom’s attempt at perks except less interesting. They are mostly temporary stat enhancers like 10% more damage, or defense, or speed and the like. Gems are activated during battle when conditions are met like landing five normals or blocking five special attacks etc. Gems fit in more with your play style, so if you like to apply lots of pressure you can pick gems that activate when attacks are blocked and so forth. Then there are assist gems that do things like make special moves easier to do or enable auto blocking at the cost of a bar of meter whenever it’s activated. While these systems may seem helpful they are mostly superfluous. Meter management is very important and using it on auto combos and blocking is a waste when you could do it yourself. Maybe instead of Capcom artificially giving skills they could have helped in motivating new players with better tutorials and systems that develop skill instead, but that’s just me.
While all these gameplay mechanics are great, it would be a waste if you had nothing to play it on.
The single player modes are relatively bare bones. You get the regular arcade mode with CG endings for completing them using stock teams. Then there are the 20 trials for each character which range from doing a special move to combos with multiple links and juggles. It’s the only part of the game which gives you an idea on how the characters are used. Mission mode is pretty interesting in that it gives you challenges with certain conditions, like wining a fight with only super moves, but ultimately feels like a ploy to get you to use gems.
Multiplayer is where it’s really at for any fighting game, and here it’s pretty good. Vs mode can be played with four players and then there is scramble mode where all four players are on the screen at the same time. There is also co-op for arcade mode, and on PS3 you can take a friend online. The online experience is hit and miss, with occasional lags and sound cutting out at points. Also on the Xbox 360 version you can’t take a guest with you, it’s one person online for one console which kinda sucks.
Street Fighter X Tekken is a very solid and fun fighting game. The roster is packed with interesting characters that give plenty of potential for interesting teams, and there are plenty of technical nuances to dig into. The game does have problems and glitches, especially online, but that shouldn’t deter you if you like fighting games and have people to play with or a good online connection.
Fighting games have always had lovely ladies joining in, and this game is no different with series regulars on both sides of the cast. On the Street Fighter side we have Chun-li, which is a given, but it’s always nice to experience her divine legs and smile. Cammy, her partner, tags along with her high-cut battle leotard and ever exposed behind, always enjoy having her around too. Then we have the spunky ninja Ibuki with dem hips she keeps showing off, and right above her portrait on the select screen is relative newcomer Juri with that sexy midriff and side boob from every angle. The biggest surprise addition is Poison who, ignoring questions about gender, is damn hot in her booty shorts and tank top that’s practically falling off.
Over on the Tekken side we got Nina in her hip exposing cat suit. I’ve never been a fan of Nina, so moving on. Tagging along with Jin, Xiaoyu joins the cast with her hyper active butt spanking antics. Right under Xiaoyu, Lili and Asuka team up to give panty shots and kick ass respectively, all while bickering with each other. And finally Julia teams up with Bob to… save the trees or sit in Bob’s lap judging from their Arcade opening. Anyway, I’m just glad she’s in and wished she kept on her glasses.
And if that’s not enough, there are four more girls coming in the planned DLC, (or on the disk and readily available for some shady people but let’s not get into that). Those being Alisa, the pink haired android; Sakura, the hyper active school girl; and Christie and Elena, both half naked dancers with very nice skin tone. I can’t wait to get to play with those two. In addition to characters, there will be DLC outfits for each character and the ones for the ladies are pretty good. My personal favorites are Chun-li in an apron and Lili in a Poison style outfit complete with a cleavage enhancing bustier.
Your enjoyment will have to come with a grain of salt since all the characters are done in the Street Fighter 4 style, meaning chunky, muscular limbs, six packs on every character (E. Honda had a six pack in Street Fighter 4 for crying out loud) and sometimes questionable shading in the textures. It also means very expressive and emotive characters. I think the Tekken cast has more expression and personality in this game than any other Tekken game, outside of cut scenes. The girl’s expressions are especially well done. I always enjoy looking at Cammy’s pouty lips, Julia’s graceful smile, and Lili’s refined mannerisms. I could go on but I’ll let you find and enjoy the character’s subtle personality quirks on your own.
Speaking of Lili, my biggest peeve with the translation of the Tekken girls to Street Fighter styles is that they replaced Lili’s panties with these frilly short things. They should have just kept the panties from the Tekken games or gave her a magic dress or something, because those shorts are ridiculous and flash all the time.
I think Capcom did a good job with the character models and I generally like how the girls came out. Personally, I find six packs on girls pretty hot so it’s a plus for me with the midriff exposing girls like Juri, Julia, Asuka, even Cammy whose leotard is so tight it wraps itself around her abs. The boobs are also noticeably more bouncy than in Street Fighter, so that’s pretty cool too. The game is solid and the girls look great and if you’re put off by the art style, I’m sure there will be plenty of doujins and fanart in the future as well as plenty of mods once the game hits PC’s.
– Sullivan O. Bradley